UTA co-founds partnership to increase faculty diversity in architecture
The University of Texas at Arlington has joined eight other leading U.S. schools and colleges of architecture, planning and design in co-founding the Deans’ Equity and Inclusion Initiative, a partnership to nurture a diverse population of emerging scholars focused on teaching and researching the built environment to advance socio-ecological and spatial justice, equity and inclusion.
Launched this summer, this initiative is built around a cohort-based fellowship program that supports early career faculty who seek to engage in an academic career while also contributing to the pursuit of equity and inclusion in the built environment. The program’s structure fosters a sharing of ideas and perspectives, as the fellows are selected to work in new academic settings with the partner schools and colleges.
The other partners with UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) in the Deans’ Initiative are:
• Tulane School of Architecture
• Harvard Graduate School of Design and Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks Institute
• University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning
• University of Oregon College of Design
• Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
• University of Southern California School of Architecture
• University of Virginia School of Architecture
• Yale School of Architecture
New schools will join as the initiative develops, with the hope of creating a collective effort across the nation.
“We seek to reflect the diversity of the populations that we serve in our region and around the world by nurturing talented scholars and practitioners,” said Maria Martinez-Cosio, interim dean of CAPPA. “As one of the most diverse higher education institutions in the U.S., engaged in cross-disciplinary work in partnership with a variety of underserved communities, we are thrilled to support this effort to continue to diversify the academy.”
Each fellow will participate in a one- or two-year cohort, including two summer institutes hosted at different schools each year. Additionally, each fellow will be paired with an internal mentor and an external mentor during their fellowship. The partner schools will select fellows with specific attention to black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) and other underrepresented faculty from schools dedicated to the built environment professions and practices. Fellows are currently in the process of being selected for the first cohort, with some named and now beginning their fellowships.
“Increasing diversity in ways that value and strengthen equity and inclusion in our institutions requires more than what any one school can do. We believe it takes the collective of design schools to change who we hire, and what we teach and practice,” states the Deans’ Initiative website. “An important contribution is to collectively foster the mentoring of a next generation of diverse faculty into successful academic careers. Working together, we believe that through cross-institutional mentoring and stewardship of early career faculty, the initiative will expand and enrich the community of BIPOC and [underrepresented minority] designers and scholars engaged in tenure-track faculty positions.”